Damar Hamlin is home (!); controversy over M&M's; there's a new Girl Scout cookie; US inflation slowed to 6.5% in December.
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The Utah Policy newsletter is your one-stop source for political and policy-minded news. We scour the news so you don't have to! Send news tips or feedback to Holly Richardson at editor@utahpolicy.com.


Situational Analysis | Jan. 12, 2023

It's Thursday and National Kiss A Ginger Day - with their consent, of course. 😘

Be in the Know

  • This summer, Utah will honor and inspire teachers by throwing them a party. First Lady Abby Cox and her "Show Up Utah" initiative is showing up for teachers by planning the second annual conference to be held in July. In conjunction with the conference, this year will also feature a Show Up for Teachers gala honoring outstanding legislators and is sponsored by the Deseret News and Utah Business. This legislative session, teachers will hopefully be honored and inspired by pay increases. 

  • On Thursday, a vibrant green comet will be passing in the night sky over Utah. Scientists believe this comet was last visible some 50,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic Era, a time when the Neanderthal was still roaming the earth. The comet has a wide eccentric orbit around the sun, and may not come near earth again.

Rapid Roundup


Together, We Can Better Support Women in Business

Whether you’re a woman starting a business or looking to elevate your career, Inspire In Utah is dedicated to providing you with the resources to help on your journey. Find funding, training, and even inspirational stories in our dedicated resource center.


Utah Headlines


  • Judges encourage 3 teens who admitted to manslaughter to change, appreciate mercy. ‘The Hones made the decision to extend you incredible mercy, and the other boys that were involved,’ Judge Scott Davis said. ‘I’ve never seen anything like it.’ (KSL)
  • ‘Incredible mother’ to be laid to rest with her children in southern Utah on Friday (KSL)
  • Cox says Utah is 'mourning' with loved ones of murdered Enoch family ahead of funeral (KUTV)
  • School bus carrying Westlake girls' wrestling team shot at on I-15 (KSL)
  • Salt Lake City joins nationwide campaign to eliminate traffic-related deaths, injuries (Fox13)
  • ‘They didn’t tell us anything’: Venezuelan migrants say they’re being sent to Utah (Deseret News)
  • New sex abuse lawsuit targets LDS Church, Utah Boy Scout council. Latest case is one of more than 82,000 against the national youth organization. (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Utah leaders congratulate new Navajo Nation administration (ABC4)
  • Discussions underway to remove food sales tax in Utah, governor says (KUTV)
  • Editorial Board: Some Republicans are suggesting military cuts. Now is not the time (Deseret News)
  • Opinion: Utah doesn’t need over a thousand bill requests again — this is what the legislature should focus on (Deseret News)
  • Sen. Mike Lee and other politicians’ fiery reactions to a potential gas stove ban (Deseret News)
  • Cox says regulating puberty blockers requires 'serious look' as session draws near (KUTV)
  • Proposed bill seeks to create domestic violence task force (KSL Newsradio)
  • What does fiscal responsibility mean to you? And to Utah? (KUER)


  • Utah is one of the nation’s most welcoming states for refugees (Utah Business)
  • UT Food Bank receives $100K for culturally responsive foods (UPR)


  • Reading, writing and information literacy? Here’s how New Jersey is fighting false information (Deseret News)
  • Incarcerated youth in Utah benefit from college courses (UPR)


  • Why humans should worry about national parks’ effect on animals, plants. Study says parks interfere with biodiversity, ecological connectivity (Deseret News)
  • Coal extracted at Emery mine is so poor it doesn’t qualify as coal, operator says (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Do you need to wear a mask on airplanes? Here’s what the WHO is saying about COVID-19 spread. New XBB.1.15 subvariant, China surge has health officials worried (Deseret News)
  • Dove Center launches pilot program to tackle unique barriers sexual assault survivors face in rural areas (St. George News)
  • Seasonal affective disorder can last for months. Here are the signs. (Washington Post)


  • Can a freer market solve the housing crisis? Here’s how Utah lawmakers want cities to get out of developers’ way. Utah Legislature to consider slew of housing bills, including one to ‘streamline’ subdivision public process and penalize cities that don’t plan for moderate income housing (Deseret News)
  • 8 projects, 880 affordable units are coming, with $8M in help from Salt Lake City (Salt Lake Tribune)

National Headlines


  • Stranded for over a day, these Amtrak passengers thought they were kidnapped (Deseret News)
  • Nurses at 2 NYC hospitals return to work as deal ends strike (AP)
  • Black real estate agents earn one-third as much as their white peers, data and surveys show. Some say they hide their identities to try and make sales. (New York Times)


  • New York Republican leaders call on George Santos to resign (Deseret News)
  • Biden team finds more docs with classified markings (AP)
  • Doug Emhoff to visit Poland and Germany amid rising antisemitism (AP)
  • ‘It’s fast and furious’: New GOP committee chairs face learning curve. Eight Republican chairs have each served less than 10 years in the House, up from just three who took over gavels in 2011 (Washington Post)
  • Pence talks Trump, House GOP and plans for 2024 (The Hill)
  • DeSantis fields growing criticism from fellow 2024 Republicans (The Hill)
  • Trump prepares to open next phase of 2024 campaign in South Carolina (Politico)

Ukraine 🇺🇦 

  • Midway students, families raise $100,000 to send generators to Ukraine (Fox13)
  • Battle rages in Ukraine town; Russia shakes up its military (AP)
  • Scale of alleged torture, detentions by Russian forces in Kherson emerges (Reuters)
  • Russia's cyberattacks aim to 'terrorize' Ukrainians. “The longer Russia wages this war, the harder it is going to be on those Ukrainian people,” an NSA official said. (Politico)


  • Is Iran using facial recognition to police hijab law? It would appear so. (Deseret News)
  • Taliban ban on women workers hits vital aid for Afghans (AP)

News Releases

Congressman Blake Moore elected to the House Committee on Ways and Means

Today, the House Steering Committee elected Congressman Blake Moore (UT-01) to serve on the influential House Committee on Ways and Means. 

“When I ran for Congress, I promised to be part of reversing our debt culture in Washington,” said Congressman Blake Moore. “Many of our nation’s debt drivers come under the Ways and Means Committee’s jurisdiction, and I am eager to get to work on how we can reform Congress’s budgeting process and responsibly steward our federal resources and programs. Utahns care deeply about our nation’s debt and deficit crises, and I have remained committed to making Washington’s approach to fiscal policy mirror Utah’s sound practices. It is a great honor to make history today as the first Republican member from Utah to serve on the Ways and Means Committee, and I thank the Steering Committee for this amazing opportunity.” (Read More)

State Auditor releases letter concerning oversight issues with property tax equity across the state

he Office of the State Auditor (Office) today released a Letter concerning issues with property tax equity across the State. The Office’s review of property tax equity issues specifically in Wasatch and Summit counties identified that the current procedures are insufficient to ensure uniform and equal tax treatment of properties as required by Article XIII of the Utah Constitution.

State Auditor John Dougall remarked, “When clear standards of assessment uniformity are not enforced, it contributes to public mistrust of the property tax valuation process. While it is important to help counties independently fulfill their statutory duties, this does not relieve the Tax Commission of its statutorily-required regulatory oversight responsibilities.” (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Jan 12, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-01-12 at 5.53.18 AM


  • Utah Economic Outlook and Public Policy Summit with the Salt Lake Chamber — Jan. 12, 2023, Salt Lake City Marriott, 8 am - noon, Register here
  • Special election for HD 60 — Jan. 14, 10:00 am, Provo Library
  • Special election for SD 12 — Jan. 15, 6:00 pm, Zoom
  • Legislative session begins, Jan. 17, 2023, le.utah.gov

On This Day In History

  • 1820 - Caroline Severance is born. She co-founded the American Woman Suffrage Association and was the first woman to register to vote in California (1911).

  • 1888 - The “Schoolchildren’s Blizzard” kills 235 people, many of them children on their way home from school across the Northwest Plains. The storm came without warning, with a temperature drop of 100 degrees in 24 hours.

  • 1904 - Henry Ford sets a land speed record of 91.37 mph. The UHP clocks people going faster almost every day. Even in a snowstorm.

  • 1920 - James Farmer is born. The American civil rights activist co-founded the Congress of Racial Equality and worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr.

  • 1922 - Ira Hamilton Hays is born. During World War II, Hays and five other U.S. Marines raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima during the six week siege on the island. Photographer Joe Rosenthal captured the event on film and the photo would later be used to create the Marine War Memorial at Arlington, Virginia.

  • 1932 - Hattie Wyatt Caraway (D-Arkansas) is the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. She becomes the first woman to chair a Senate Committee and the first to serve as the Senate’s presiding officer

  • 1964 - Jeff Bezos is born.

  • 1967 - The first person is cryogenically preserved. Upon his death, psychology professor Dr. James H. Bedford of California achieved half his dream of being placed in cryogenic suspension. It remains to be seen whether or not he will see the other half of his dream and survive to be re-animated.

  • 1986 - Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz launches into space aboard the space shuttle Columbia 7 and becomes the first Hispanic person in space.

  • 1991 - Congress gives George H. W. Bush authority to wage war against Iraq

  • 2010 - Massive earthquake strikes Haiti, killing an estimated 316,000 and displacing a million people. The country has yet to fully recover.

Wise Words

"All revolutions devour their own children."

—Ernst Rohm

On the Punny Side

My grandmother was 80% Irish

Her name was Iris.


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